The interesting thing about losing enough weight to go from ‘morbidly obese’ to ‘normal’ is that moment – for me, it was about 65 pounds into my weight loss journey – where one realizes that toes are once again visible.
Of course, I could always see my toes. If I bent over or stretched out, they’d still be there, attached to my foot in the same orientation as always. It didn’t occur to me that I should be keeping an eye on them, so I never realized that I couldn’t just look down and see them.
Until one day I could.
I remember in the shower one day, I was opting to lather and rinse but not to repeat, and I casually glanced down and saw the edge of a toenail peaking out. It wasn’t the sorry attempt at nail polish coverage that shocked me, but the abrupt awareness that I couldn’t remember the last time that had happened to me.
That was about a year ago, and with every pound or two shed since then, I’ve gotten a clearer view of my exquisite digits (not to mention a few new bottles of nail polish).
Of course, I eventually got used to the new toe viewing situation, and my excitement about the experience faded.
Well, let me take you back the shower with me, this time just a couple weeks ago, when I discovered that something was once again afoot. Once again, I was refusing to toe the line, ignoring the shampoo bottle’s instruction to repeat the lathering and rinsing process. A thought occurred to me, and I looked down out of a sense of regretful duty – I knew the floor of the tub would be covered in dog hair, and when I saw it, I’d be obligated to take action. To my surprise, I didn’t spot any dog hair. In fact, I didn’t spot much of anything – my downward view was blocked by my own bulging belly.
I delighted in this knowledge for a moment, feeling that karma was handing me a sly favour (perhaps in recognition of me not eating that last chocolate chip cookie so my husband could have it). I wouldn’t have to clean the tub after all. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
But then it occurred to me – my toes were out of sight, too.
My mood snapped from probably-too-happy to definitely-too-sad in an instant. It seemed devastating and unfair; all my hard work and progress was now being eclipsed – literally – by my bump. I considered going to the store to buy some paper hats and colourful candles to throw myself a pity party (and maybe to pick up some more chocolate chop cookies, too), but instead, thankfully, a quick cry seemed to discharge the built-up crazy hormones from my brain, and I was able to re-evaluate the situation.
Of course my belly is big. Of course I can’t see my toes. This isn’t a step back – it’s a step forward, into a new phase of life. It’s something to be celebrated.
I’ve lost a bunch of weight before, and I have complete confidence that I can do it again. The difference this time around is that when I’m finally able to count my toes again, I’ll have a whole other 10 to keep them company.